COLUMBUS—Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) announced the recent unanimous passage of Senate Bill 201. This legislation revises Ohio’s sentencing structure to ensure that prisoners who behave violently while incarcerated serve longer terms than model inmates who actively engage in rehabilitative programming.
In doing so, the bill empowers judges and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to protect the public, as well as better incentivize inmate rehabilitation and reduce recidivism. The bill is named in honor of Reagan Tokes, an Ohio State student who was murdered in February 2017 by a man who was released from prison despite a lengthy record of violent behavior while incarcerated.
"We want to provide prisoners with pathways to reform themselves. However, when an inmate continues to choose violence and is hostile to rehabilitation efforts, they are a threat and should serve longer time behind bars," said Obhof. "I appreciate the courage of the Tokes family in advocating for this change in order to help other families avoid the terrible loss they experienced."
Under the bill, first, second, and certain third degree felony offenders will be sentenced to indefinite terms based on the severity of the offense. The range of the term is based on a minimum and a maximum term decided by the sentencing judge. The maximum term will equal 150% of the minimum term.
For more information on the Reagan Tokes Act and how it will protect Ohioans, click here.